The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Monday, January 02, 2006
A little Diem follow-up
While I was away (it seems) the Google Books function has burgeoned. The MO looks tricky - even where full text is available, it's strictly rationed.
Duh! They want you to buy the book, dumbass!
Beggars and choosers, yet again, though. And a morsel is available on the subject of Albert M Colegrove and his disobliging journalism (following up my piece of December 31).
In The Vietnam Lobby: The American Friends of Vietnam, 1955-1975  by Joseph G. Morgan, there is a passage (starting on p57) dealing with the business, and the involvement of the AFV in the Congressional fallout :
The strongest reaction to a critical appraisal of developments in Vietnam was prompted by a newspaper exposé of the shortcomings of Diem's government and the US aid program. Journalist Albert M Colegrove worked for the Scripps-Howard papers and had been sent to Saigon in the summer of 1959 to investigate US foreign assistance projects. After a ten-day stay in the RVN, he returned to the United States and wrote six articles asserting that the American program had done little "to guide Vietnam to the day when she can support herself" and that Diem ran "a hard-fisted government" that ruled through "countless laws promulgated after police state practices." Colegrove's articles sparked an uproar in Washington and Saigon. US and Vietnamese officials angrily refuted them and congressional committees made plans to investigate their credibility.
There are notes that go with this (on p183), that give a couple of the heds for Colegrove's series , as well as a snippet of commentary:
Mike Mansfield chaired the Senate subcommittee investigating Colegrove's charges. Although he admired Diem and applauded the AFV's work, he had misgivings about the character of the US aid program to Vietnam, especially its heavy emphasis on military assistance.
Mansfield, from what little I've gleaned so far, was, with JFK, one of the Catholic pols involved with Diem in his Maryknoll days.
He and all the other namechecks I hope to follow up by and by.
Back to playing with the new toy...
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